With its mystical baroque buildings, streets glowing with sparkling light decorations and smelling of gingerbread and mulled wine, Vienna is a perfect Christmas city. Discover the most magical Christmas markets in Vienna in 2018 and enjoy your own winter fairytale.
You can argue with me as much as you want, but Vienna simply has the best Christmas markets in Europe. And this comes from someone living in Prague, which is a true heavyweight in this area. Vienna is simply a perfect Christmas city. With its beautifully enlightened wide boulevards, mystical baroque buildings, chariots pulled by white horses and stores smelling of chocolate, cinnamon and mulled wine, you will feel like in a winter fairytale.
➯ Read more: 7 most beautiful gardens in Prague
None of that, however, would be complete without the traditional Christmas markets, some dating back even several centuries. I have picked for you the 7 most magical Christmas markets in Vienna and I am excited to share with you my first-hand experience.
7 most magical Christmas markets in Vienna
Christmas markets in Vienna are called the “Christkindlmarkt”. It is because in Austria, the one who brings Christmas presents is not beardy Santa Claus, but little “Christkindl” (the “Christ-child”). I really like it, as it is the same as in the Czech Republic. As Vienna is the former capital of the Austrian-Hungarian empire, it is full of majestic royal buildings and they make for a perfect set up for the wooden market stalls smelling of gingerbread, sausages and mulled wine.
Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz
16th November to 26th December 2018 (Sun-Thurs 10 am-9.30 pm, Fri & Sat 10 am-10 pm)
The largest, the shiniest and the most beautiful Christmas market in whole Vienna and most likely in whole Europe. This market lies in front of the Rathaus, the Vienna town hall, which is a beautiful five spired building that when lit with Christmas lights, looks like a Disney castle.
Actually, the whole market gives you a true Disneyland feeling. You can try ice skating, take a ride on a carousel or a Ferris wheel or taste fruits dipped in sugar or chocolate.
16th November to 26th December 2018 (daily from 11 am to 9 pm, closes at 4 pm on 24th Dec & at 7 pm on 25th & 26the Dec)
Stephans Platz is Vienna’s central square crouching under the magnificent Stephansdom and also the Christmas market hides at the foot of the cathedral. It is not as huge as other markets in the city, but it can get pretty crowded thanks to its location.
➯ Check out: All the hotels in Vienna
Christmas Village on Maria-Theresien-Platz
21st November to 31st December 2018 (Sun-Thurs 11 am-9 pm, Fri & Sat 11 am-10 pm)
The Christmas Village at the Maria-Theresien-Platz lies just in between Vienna’s two impressive museums – the Kunsthistorisches Musem and the Naturhistorisches Museum. In the very center of the square, you find a statue of the famous Austrian Empress Maria Theresia, looking down at the cute Christmas stalls encircling it from all sides. This market is actually my favorite in Vienna. It might not be as shiny as the Rathaus one, but it has a such a special familiar atmosphere that makes you feel really comfortable.
➯Katie’s tip: Be sure to try the delicious Goulash soup in bread.
Art Advent market at Karlsplatz
23rd November – 23rd December 2018 (daily from 12-8pm)
The Art Advent Market in front of the famous Karlskirche was the one I have visited the most often, as it lied pretty close to our accommodation – hotel Savoyen Vienna. The massive church gives it a very nice background, but what makes it special is its focus on art and crafts and the little zoo based on the theme of Noem’s Arch. It is also a pretty good place to refresh yourself with some traditional Austrian Christmas snacks.
Christkindlmarkt at the Schönbrunn Palace
24th November to 6th January 2019 (10 am-9 pm)
Schönbrunn is Vienna’s most beloved palace and you should definitely not miss it during your visit to the city on the Danube river. However, as the only one on my list, this market lies a bit further away from the center. So if you are short on time, it might be a bit more difficult to squeeze it into your schedule. At least you have time to visit it until the Three Kings Day on 6th January.
➯ Katie’s tip: Upgrade your visit to the noble Schönbrunn Palace with a concert of great classical music. Buy the tickets with Klook to save up to 7%. Moreover, register via this link and get another 3.2 USD discount.
Christmas Village at the Belvedere Palace
23rd November to 26th December 2018 (Mon-Fri 11 am – 9 pm, Sat & Sun 10 am – 9 pm)
This market is the smallest of my selection and it is located on the rear part of the charming Baroque Belvedere Palace. Be sure to check out also the beautiful 200 years old palace garden, which spreads on the huge area at the Belvedere’s front.
➯ Katie’s tip: Be sure to visit the Belvedere’s museum with a special collection of paintings from Gustav Klimt, including his famous “Kiss”.
Old Viennese Christmas market at Freyung
17 November to 23 December 2018 (daily 10 am – 9 pm)
The oldest and the most traditional market in central Vienna. Its origin can be tracked all the way back to 1770s. It doesn’t have such an eye-popping background like the others, but it offers a solid variety of ceramics, glass, and other lovely handicrafts.
Let me hear from you
I am sure you will find at least another half a dozen really great Christmas markets in Vienna and they are all worth a visit. Nevertheless, if you really want to enjoy the best of them, I hope my post will serve you as a useful guide. Do you agree with me on my selection or are there others you think I have forgotten? Let me know in the comments section
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